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Song Details
Duration: 3:50 (Tim P. Ryan) 
Release Date: 10/25/1957  (Tim P. Ryan) 
Lyrics By: Jimmie Driftwood (Tim P. Ryan) 
Music By: (traditional fiddle tune) (Tim P. Ryan) 
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Keywords: HISTORY 
Reviews:
Facts:
  • Much more history in the Jimmie Driftwood version. This battle was fought after peace was ironed out with England, but neither side knew that in New Orleans. In fact, the news of the win in New Orleans spread faster across the country. It took a 6 week ship trip to get the Christmas Eve peace documents back to the US. So, when that news finally arrived, it was perceived that it took The Battle of New Orleans to settle the war. Funny how those in the South in 1814 were Yankees before becoming rebels by 1861. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • That traditional fiddle tune is called Eighth of January (Tim P. Ryan)
  • This version is earlier and longer than the Johnny Horton hit version, with lyrics not heard in that much more popular version. (Tim P. Ryan)
  • Song Lyrics:
    "The Battle of New Orleans"

    Lyrics by Jimmy Driftwood
    tune: Eighth of January, traditional fiddle tune

    Well, in 18 and 14, we took a little trip
    Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Missisip
    We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
    And we met the bloody British in the town of New Orleans

    Chorus:

    We fired our guns and the British kept a comin'
    There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago
    We fired once more and they began a running
    Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico


    Well, I seed Mars Jackson come a-walkin' down the street
    And a-talkin' to a pirate by the name of Jean Lafitte;
    He gave Jean a drink that he brung from Tennessee,
    And the pirate said he'd help us drive the British to the sea.

    Chorus

    Well the French told Andrew, "You had better run
    For Packenham's a=comin' with a bullet in his gun."
    Old Hickory said he didn't give a damn
    He's a-gonna whup the britches off of Colonel Packenham.

    Chorus

    Well, we looked down the river and we seed the British come
    And there must have been a hundred of them beating on the drum
    They stepped so high and they made their bugles ring
    While we stood behind our cotton bales and didn't say a thing

    Chorus

    Old Hickory said we could take em by surprise
    If we didn't fire a musket till we looked em in the eyes
    We held our fire till we seed their face well
    Then we opened up our squirrel guns and really gave em well..

    Chorus

    Well they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
    And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go
    They ran so fast the hounds couldn't catch em
    Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Chorus

    Well we fired our cannons till the barrels melted down
    So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round
    We filled his head with minie balls and powdered his behind
    And when we touched the powder off, the 'gator lost his mind

    Chorus

    They lost their pants and their pretty shiny coats
    And their tails was all a-showin' like a bunch of billy goats.
    They ran down the river with their tongues a-hanging out
    And they said they got a lickin', which there wasn't any doubt.

    Chorus

    Well we marched back to town in our dirty ragged pants
    And we danced all night with the pretty girls from France;
    We couldn't understand 'em, but they had the sweetest charms
    And we understood 'em better when we got 'em in our arms.

    Chorus

    Well, the guide who brung the British from the sea
    Come a-limping into camp just as sick as he could be,
    He said the dying words of Colonel Packenham
    Was, "You better quit your foolin' with your cousin Uncle Sam."

    Chorus

    Well, we'll march back home, but we'll never be content
    Till we make Old Hick'ry the people's president.
    And every time we think about the bacon and the beans
    We'll think about the fun we had way down in New Orleans.

    Chorus

    Copyright Warden Music Co., Inc.
    (Tim P. Ryan)
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